Russia Pledges to Help Venezuela Avoid Military Intervention

(Bloomberg) -- Russia will “do everything possible” to avoid outside military intervention in Venezuela, Parliament Speaker Valentina Matvienko told the Latin American nation’s vice president.

“We are very concerned that the U.S. are ready for any kind of provocation to start bloodshed and justify military intervention in Venezuela,” Matvienko told Vice President Delcy Rodriguez. “We’ll do everything possible to avoid this. We are confident that the Venezuelan crisis, artificially created by the U.S., can be resolved only peacefully, via dialog of all local political forces,” she said in comments reported by state news agency Tass.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also criticized the U.S.’s stance on Venezuela in a call with his American counterpart, reiterating the nation’s support for its oil-producing ally. The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Venezuelan officials accused of blocking aid convoys as the Latin American country teeters on the brink of economic collapse and President Nicolas Maduro contends with a leadership challenge from National Assembly President Juan Guaido.

U.S. actions are a “blunt interference” in a sovereign state’s internal affairs, Lavrov told Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in a phone call late Saturday, according to a Russian foreign ministry statement. This “destructive external influence under hypocritical pretext of humanitarian aid has nothing to do with democracy.”

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